Louis van Gaal believes David De Gea will stay at Manchester United despite reports linking him with a move to Real Madrid.

Manchester United manager Louis van Gaal has expressed fresh optimism in keeping goalkeeper David De Gea at Old Trafford.De Gea, who was named Manchester United’s player of the season for the second straight campaign, has been a stalwart in net for Van Gaal’s side, but has been linked to a move to Real Madrid in the summer, despite a lucrative contract offer in hand from United.Just five days ago, Van Gaal expressed he felt powerless to persuade the Spanish international from leaving. Friday, however, saw the Dutch coach with renewed hope.

“I believe still that David de Gea will stay and I want to play him against Hull City because I have to put my strongest team,” van Gaal said.”David trained for the first time today (Friday) but I cannot say if he is able to play. We will have to wait.”

“I think he shall have a very difficult solution, he is loved by the fans, he loves the environment. When he goes he loses that. It’s a difficult decision, because he is not making the decision.”

“You know that I shall talk with them maybe tomorrow, we’ll have a farewell drink. After the match, I have the Monday to talk, I have spoken to some players this week. You have to wait and see how these talks develop in terms of players staying or going away.”

Real Madrid are understood to be interested in signing Spaniard De Gea, who has one more season left on his contract at Old Trafford. The 24-year-old waved to United fans as he left the pitch on Sunday after suffering an injury in the 1-1 draw against Arsenal.

United’s player of the season is in contention to start the final match of the season at Hull on Sunday despite the hamstring injury he suffered against the Gunners. The Old Trafford club brought in fellow Spaniard Victor Valdes, 33, from Barcelona in January and he made his debut when he replaced De Gea on Sunday.

Courtesy AFP